Health care costs are the #1 financial concern for people in their 50s and 60s. It’s a valid concern since it is common for the percentage of your budget spent on health care to increase as you age and the rate of inflation is typically higher than general inflation. Medicare plays a big role in planning for and controlling costs, so be ready for the three biggest Medicare issues.
Enrolling at the right time and knowing when you can make changes is important.
What are the best choices for you?
Choosing the right mix of Medicare coverage options for your unique health conditions.
Part A, B, C, D?
Understanding the different parts of Medicare cover and how to use them.
Strategic Medicare Planning
It’s astonishing how complicated Medicare is considering so many people rely on it for health coverage. As you turn 65, you will be inundated with information, but may still need help making decisions to avoid costly errors.
Just one example of a mistake that can haunt you forever is forgoing Part D drug coverage, which is voluntary, not mandatory. However, not enrolling when you are eligible carries a 1% penalty for each month you are late in enrolling if you decide later you want coverage. If you enroll four years later, for example, you will pay a 48% late enrollment penalty each month for the rest of your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are my Medicare premiums so high?
Medicare premiums vary according to income. Higher-income beneficiaries are subject to a surcharge called the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount, or IRMAA. This surcharge applies to both Parts B and D. It’s recalculated every year based on your last-filed tax return, so there is a two-year look back period. There are some exceptions, so consider filing an appeal if your income has changed due to a life-changing event.
Can I qualify for Medicare if I’m disabled?
Yes. If you qualify for disability benefits from Social Security, you will automatically qualify for Medicare after 24 months of disability benefits. You will have several decisions to make regarding Part B, Part D, and Medigap plans. Not getting benefits when you are first eligible can trigger late enrollment penalties, so consider your decision carefully.
Does Medicare cover long-term care?
No, and it’s important to know what Basic Medicare does not cover so you can make sure you have any additional coverage that you need.
Basic Medicare does NOT cover:
• Long term care
• Prescription drugs
• Dental care
• Vision care
• Hearing exams or hearing aids
• Medical care outside the United States
Tools for DIY Changes
The government website www.medicare.gov offers tools to help. Their Plan Finder Tool can help you compare Part D drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans. https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/#/?lang=en
You can also call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE to get information about plans in your area or to enroll in a new plan.
There is nothing you need to do if you don’t want to make any changes to your coverage.
If you do make a change, your new coverage will begin on January 1, 2020.
What options are right for you?
We’ve heard many of our clients’ concerns about how to make the best choices for Medicare and when to file for Social Security. These decisions can be overwhelming, and government websites do little to help break down the information in a meaningful and easy way.
Get your questions answered at our biannual workshop.
You may still need help optimizing your Medicare and Social Security. We understand the need for clarity so we hold an biannual workshop to answer your questions.
Please take a moment to check out our video showing our past workshop held at Ballast Point Miramar.
platt wealth management
Tracy is the Director of Financial Planning at Platt Wealth Management, where she creates customized financial plans. She specializes in retirement planning, Social Security and Medicare planning.
United health care
Diane Gaswirth helps consumers simplify Medicare to make the choices best for their healthcare. She is an accomplished leader in health plan selection at UnitedHealthcare.
Where is the Workshop?
To help make these confusing topics easy to digest, we host our workshops somewhere fun. Our last workshop was held at Ballast Point Brewing Miramar where participant enjoyed the open patio and delicious award-winning beer.
What better place to talk over Medicare and Social Security than over tasty pub
snacks with informed experts? Get your facts and your fun together.
Many participants extended the afternoon into evening with a complimentary tour of the Ballast Point brewery.
- The tour ran about 30 minutes.
- Experienced the 150-barrel brew house, cellar, lab.
- Finished with a guided tasting.
- Financial knowledge and a commemorative beer glass.
Sign up here to receive an invitation for our next Medicare and Social Security Workshop.
Reserve Your Spot
Join us for an afternoon of fun and facts. Get your questions answered while sampling a selection of hors d’ oerves. Enjoy an early happy hour on us. Let us know if you would like to bring a friend or family member in the guest box.
Knowledgeable and expert.